Fewer cabs in Bengaluru bring smiles to many

Cab strike enters sixth day; commuters and traffic cops say too many cabs have added to traffic congestion.

Published: 27th February 2017 04:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2017 04:54 AM   |  A+A-

Cab drivers take out a protest in the city for the sixth day on Sunday. The drivers went around the city collecting alms at traffic signals to collect enough money so that they can ‘bribe’ the government

Express News Service

BENGALURU: As the indefinite strike by drivers working with app-based cab aggregators enters the sixth day on Monday, many have seen it as a blessing in disguise.

With fewer taxis, many commuters said traffic congestion was relatively less. A Santhosh tweeted, “Well behaved traffic today (in) Bangalore. Looked surreal. But then realised Uber, Ola (are) on strike. Absolutely no traffic jams and honking”. Another tweet by Ajay Mittal read, “#ola and #uber please don’t end your strike, I am loving the empty and traffic free roads. (You) are more of nuisance than comfort in our lives”.

Traffic cops agree that the number of cabs have contributed to traffic congestion. “Most cab drivers stop in the middle of the road to pick up or drop passengers. In several cases, cab drivers park their vehicles on roads or pavements waiting for customers, blocking other vehicles,” a senior traffic official said.

The city has 1.31 lakh taxis of which a majority are operated by Ola and Uber. Protesting drivers attached to Ola and Uber say 90 per cent of the drivers are participating in the strike.

Express had recently reported that the Transport Department is considering a limit on the maximum number of taxis in the city, like in the case of autorickshaws. Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic) R Hithendra agreed to the proposal. “Too many cabs is not good. Traffic was considerably less last week because of the ongoing taxi strike and holiday season.”

BMTC officials said occupancy rate in its AC buses has increased over the past few days due to the strike. “Passengers taking AC buses in corridors such as ITPL, Whitefield and Kadugodi increased because of the ongoing taxi strike. Many commuters, especially techies, who were earlier taking cabs, are now using our buses because of the strike,” said a senior BMTC official.

As reported by Express earlier, BMTC will soon launch on a pilot basis a smart card facility in AC Volvo buses on 335-E route (Kempegowda Bus Station to Kadugodi) to enable cashless payments. The bus utility will also allow private firms to operate 1,500 buses under aggregator model to attract commuters.


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